Monday, March 24, 2014

Hiding ugly…

When I posted photos of our new fence like this one…

I intentionally cropped them at the point where the color changes on our neighbor’s garage. I wanted you to be able to appreciate the fence, and not be distracted like I am every time I walk into the back garden. Of course in the interest of full disclosure the real ugly was pre-privet removal…

Closely followed by our new view.

Yes it’s hideous. Yes it screams 3rd grade child let loose with crayons. Yes I should march right over there and ask them if I can paint, after all it’s the back of their garages which they never see. However, I’ve learned there is no solution quite like the one you own. So I throw $60 of paint and 20 hrs of my time at a nice paint job. Then one of the houses sells and the new owner repaints, AUGH! So while I may still inquire about painting I really needed to take steps to conceal the ugly within the confines of our own property. Thinking thinking thinking…

A kind friend offered a chunk or two of Chusquea culeou 'Gigantea' – pretty much the dream of an instant screen. Ugly garage? What ugly garage?

A smart person probably would have gone for this option (free, instant, lush). However I just couldn’t shake the feeling this plant was too big and too shaggy for my small urban garden. I gave up the perfect screen in favor of a long term solution I would be happier with.

Yes, really. You read that right. Me, the gardener with no patience, chose a long term solution. No, hell did not just freeze over, at least I don’t think so.

So Andrew signed off on buying a specimen size plant. I started researching. I schemed and schemed and I changed my mind. This is the second crazy thing you’re going to read in this post. I had the okay to spend serious cash on a new big plant, but I chose not to. Instead I went shopping in my own garden. It turns out there is a hidden benefit to planting things too close together and in places where they don’t belong. You can liberate them! This poor loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) was planted too close to our house.

It was a small thing when I planted it, but 4 years later it was growing and obviously not in a place for long term success. Here it is shortly after purchasing and before planting (April of 2011), I was waiting for the house to be painted before planting.

This photo is from last summer…lush!

And there it is in its new home…

Fingers crossed that I got enough roots and it will make the move okay. Closer…

It’s got a little growing to do, I’m working on that patience thing.

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

38 comments:

  1. Given how much it's grown already in bad crowded conditions, I'm sure it won't be long till it's much bigger and fulfilling its purpose (in fact, that spot already looks way better). Maybe you can still spend the money on something else. I think it was quite smart of you to liberate something that was planted too closely.

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    1. Thanks Alison, I hope you're right. And I imagine the stock tank we bought this weekend for the new (sunny!) water garden probably counts as a big enough purchase to wipe out any and all "extra" funds I might have banked with this solution.

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  2. Very smart to rescue the loquat from the side of the house. It should be happier there in the long run AND you can spend that money on more plants! Oh the joy of having bare soil for new plants!

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    1. It's not every day you find a new 11 x 25 ft piece of land in your own garden!

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  3. It looks good there and my eye is immediately drawn to the plant and away from the paint issue. It will fill in quickly if the ones around here are an indication. I don't have a loquat but just about every gardener I know wants me to take some off their hands.

    I've been shopping in my own garden a lot this spring as we expand the planting beds. It's an advantage to have all those plants handy.

    Now you can find something special to put in front of the loquat.

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    1. Yay! Of course that happens for me (the eye drawn) but manly because like a worried mother I can't stop looking at the loquat for any signs it's handing the move poorly. I doubt it will grow as fast as the ones around you do with your warmth (and we don't have a seedling problem since it's rarely warm enough late in the season for them to set fruit). Glad you're finding some "free" plants too!

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  4. While waiting for the patience to kick in, join me in my fantasy world where I see not what is there, but what will be. The loquat is such an attention grabber that my eye stops right there and I hardly notice what's behind it.

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    1. I know that world! I tend to see through those same glasses until someone (usually a visitor but sometimes Andrew) jerks me back to reality. Thank you for the encouragement.

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  5. Patience is not one of my virtues either but I think you did well and should pat yourself on the back for this solution. I agree with Shirley that it's already made a major improvement in the appearance of the area and, with more room to grow, the loquat may zip in height before you know it. That plant itself also looks much better than it did in its prior spot.

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    1. I do hope for a zip in height as well. It's got lots of water (from me) 4 days of sunshine and warmth and now as of tomorrow a weeks worth of rain to settle it in.

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  6. Good for you! A great long-term (really? what's that?) solutionthat already looks good! You can use that big specimen money for the HPSO sale in april!

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    1. Haha, if only Andrew thought the same as you! He sees a net savings on the deal...

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    2. There's clearly too much honesty going on in your relationship! Would he have believed that the loquat that you transplanted was the large specimen that you bought?

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  7. I'm glad you didn't go with the Chusquea -- they are sort of ratty-looking bamboos, a little too wild for your refined yard. (Nothing against "ratty" -- it's just not right for this space)

    (A nice white-painted board covering the border between the color changes would probably help too -- keep in mind for the future)

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    1. White would be a little harsh but I like the idea. Maybe something the color of the roof...

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  8. Eek! You made me miss our tall loquat now, which looked fab pre fire. Will have to find a replacement soon...

    Superb choice for that spot! Hopefully it won't sulk at all and would carry on growing nicely this year onwards. As it gets taller it will be densely leafy above that will hide the view of the garage but sparse at the bottom that will be perfect for under planting, great win win situation especially for a plant lover!

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    1. Sorry guys, a replacement is in order. And yes, I did think about the binus of space to plant on the ground plane.

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  9. Yay for loquat liberation! Funny we both posted on that plant today. I hope it thrives in its new spot. Perfect for screening and gorgeous!

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    1. Do you know where you're going to plant yours? It looks substantially larger than my transplant.

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  10. PS Whatcha gonna put in the spot where the loquat came out? :)

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    1. It needs to have biggish leaves, or bright ones. I'm currently leaning towards the Argyrocytisus battandieri I bought at the Cistus tough love sale last fall. Really where is the fun if I don't replant something equally inappropriate and big?

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  11. Nice! I love the loquat there. After this winter I am convinced they are one of the best subtropical looking trees for the PNW. Mine had a broken limb in an ice storm but beyond that looks great! the thing took down to 12F without showing any stress. Any plant that can do that is a keeper in my books.

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    1. I agree, I hear there were even a few that suffered Eugene's negative temps and kept on going, that's amazing! (and who needs the flowers and fruit anyway?)

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  12. Your new fence is so lovely & that loquat is going to fill that space nicely and (relatively) quickly. And it already looks great! Looks like you've already got some other plants lined up for that space too -- I look forward to seeing what you do with it!

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    1. Ya, I keep flip flopping between "I've bought too many plants!" and "I don't have enough plants!...I think the reality is I've bought too many "gonna get big" plants and need more of the type that stay small-ish.

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  13. well played, Ms. Danger. (and btw, we saw Mr. Danger walk by yesterday when we were sunning on the front patio--with a wee bit of wine.)

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    1. He reported having seen you, and thought perhaps you all were trying to offer the juice of the grape to a thirsty walker. Alas he was mid story on the iPod (some NPR business) and too distracted to stop...

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  14. Nice! It might be a long-term solution, but I'll bet it will grow fast and take care of the issue pretty quickly. I like your new fence by the way!

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    1. Thanks PP, I hope you're right!

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  15. Not only patient but practical! Look at you. I think it looks fantastic in it's new home and I am admiring all the new space that will be calling you to put your spiky touch on it!

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    1. Oh yes, there will definitely be a few spikes!

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  16. How satisfying, I have been doing a lot of redistribution of plants recently and am very pleased with the result.
    By the way I don't think I posted about deciding the buy the edgeworthia I did it on a late night whim!!

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    1. Plant shopping as a late night whim, I knew I liked you.

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  17. Is that another little loquat in the pot to keep it company?

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    1. No, I think the one you're asking about is a Schefflera delavayi, I'm still looking for a good spot to plant it.

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  18. The loquat looks great in that corner. Love how the sun highlights the foliage in your picture. I was thinking a Magnolia grandiflora would look good there but I guess you already have one of those - read that somewhere! Nice!

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    1. It's fun watching the new sun patterns across the garden, we see so much more sky without the privet! Also we did consider a M. grandiflora for that spot, I love them so (our other magnolia is a M. macrophylla).

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  19. I think a giant sequoia is the perfect solution! You'll never have to see the garage again.

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